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Updated: January 23, 2010 12:32 IST

India vows support to rebuild Haiti

PTI
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Workers remove items from a hardware store in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Thursday. Photo: AP
AP Workers remove items from a hardware store in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Thursday. Photo: AP

India, a co-sponsor in a General Assembly resolution that supports emergency relief and rehabilitation for the Haiti earthquake victims, on Saturday assured its support in rebuilding the Caribbean nation.

“We will do whatever is in our power to partner the people of Haiti in their journey to rebuild their lives and their nations,” said Manjeev Singh Puri, India’s deputy envoy to the UN.

Notably, India had already announced $ 5 million assistance for the disaster hit nation.

“The government and people of India are shocked and deeply grieved by the loss of human life and damage that has resulted from the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti,” said Mr. Puri.

“India is familiar with the consequences of natural disasters and therefore fully understands the trauma and the suffering that the Haitians are living through,” he said.

The resolution called for action on immediate relief operations as well as medium and long term developmental goals.

The senior Indian official also expressed sorrow at the loss of lives suffered by the Haitians and the UN staff. .

“The greatest tribute to them will be the continuation of their work in Haiti,” he said.

Thanking the co-sponsors of the resolution, Haitian envoy to the UN Leo Merores expressed his government’s appreciation for the “wave of solidarity and extreme compassion” on part of the international community.

Pointing out that the government had no physical premises to operate from, Mr. Merores told the General Assembly, “Almost everything has been levelled.”

The 7.0 earthquake that struck the Caribbean nation caused widespread damage to infrastructure including the presidential palace and other government buildings.

While there are no official figures on the death toll, it is estimated that somewhere between 100,000 to 200,000 people have died and three million people have been impacted.

“The population is on the streets without any shelter,” Mr. Merores said.

Noting that the UN had suffered its single biggest loss in history, UN Chief Ban Ki-moon said 70 UN staffers working in Haiti have been killed and 146 were still missing.

“We must expect that the death toll will continue to rise,” Mr. Ban told the General Assembly.

The Secretary-General said the UN had received a good response to the call for additional troops that were to be sent to Haiti in the coming days and that $ 334 million out of the $ 575 million international flash appeal, launched on Friday, had been pledged by member-states.

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